A young executive was leaving the office late one evening when he found the CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand.
“Listen,” said the CEO, “this is a very sensitive and important document here, and my secretary has gone for the night. Can you make this thing work?”
“Certainly,” said the young executive. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.
“Excellent, excellent!” said the CEO as his paper disappeared inside the machine.
“I just need one copy.”
In our family, one of the first things you learn to make when you start cooking is spaghetti sauce. It couldn’t be easier, and you can make a double batch and freeze half and have it again in a couple weeks (thawed, of course.)
Chop one large onion, saute over low heat in olive oil. While the onion is sauteeing, peel and chop four or five cloves of garlic. Toss them is just before the onion is all soft and glistening. (Garlic needs less cooking than onion.)
Empty the saute pan into a bowl, and brown about 1 lb (1/2 kilo) of ground beef. If you want to take an extra step, also add in some ground Italian sausage (you can find it at the Sultan Center.) Brown it until there is no pink left, but the meat is still soft.
Pour the hot browned meat into a large pot. Add the sauteed onions. Chop up some tomatoes, real tomatoes that don’t look good enough for the salad. Having some real tomato in the sauce makes all the difference.
Add three or more small packets of tomato paste (small cans in the US) and four cups of water. It will look kind of soupy. Don’t worry! (In the US or countries where you can drink alcohol, use some red wine in place of some of the water, maybe a cup, for taste.)
Over low heat, cook the spaghetti meat sauce for hours – maybe three – until it has become less soupy and more sauc-y.
Fifteen minutes before serving, add 1 Tablespoon sugar.
The above is a very plain, very basic, but delicious spaghetti sauce. If you like flavors a little more complex, you can add in fifteen fresh chopped basil leaves when you add the sugar and stir them in well.
You can add a chopped green pepper to the onion when sauteeing.
You can add other meats, chopped finely.
Once you have mastered the basic sauce, you can customize it to your own tastes.
How easy is that?